Jared Cannonier says UFC middleweight division just like a circus: 'Queue the clown music'

by Christina S. Brown
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The higher echelon of the UFC’s middleweight division is a bit hectic proper now, and Jared Cannonier feels that, being smack-dab in the midst of it.

Forward of his UFC on ESPN 57 foremost occasion bout on Saturday, Cannonier (17-6 MMA, 10-6 UFC) admits the matchup vs. Nassourdine Imavov (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) didn’t enthuse him when provided. Nonetheless, with the entire different contenders matched up, it’s simply what the state of the division had obtainable.

What’s at stake, although, past a bounce-back struggle from harm? Cannonier isn’t certain. With Sean Strickland coming off a win, Dricus Du Plessis prone to face Israel Adesanya but, and a matchup between Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev impending, Cannonier doesn’t know what the long run holds past the occasion Saturday at KFC Yum! Heart in Lousiville, Ky.

“It’s a circus on the market,” Cannonier instructed MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “… Adesanya vs. Dricus. Sean Strickland has level in relation to making that matchup. I believe Sean deserves that rematch greater than Whittaker deserves the matchup. However everyone knows why they’re doing it. Like I mentioned, it’s a circus on the market. Queue the clown music. Carry within the crowds with their peanuts and their popcorn, to allow them to have time. However I don’t know what’s going to occur. I’m probably not spending an excessive amount of time or power fascinated about what can occur. All I do know is I’m going to be right here, in form, able to whoop some ass. No matter occurs, wherever the chips could fall, I’ll be there to choose up the winnings.”

Days previous to his harm, Cannonier was booked in opposition to Roman Dolize, who was rising up the middleweight ranks. Then towards the tip of his knee surgical procedure restoration, he was provided Paulo Costa, however wasn’t bodily prepared to simply accept. The timeline of his return made Imavov one of the best viable choice.

“When the time got here (for me to guide a struggle), I hoped possibly for a rematch with Strickland, possibly a rematch with Whittaker, a title struggle, one thing higher than a No. 8-ranked man,” Cannonier mentioned. “However these crumbs was all that they had left for me. As an alternative of sitting on the shelf, I’m not inclined to ready and stuff like that.

“So I took this struggle, and I’m going to go in there and have one other nice efficiency, probably a record-breaking efficiency, probably one other Battle of the Night time or Efficiency of the Night time efficiency, and maintain marching ahead towards that title as a result of that’s the entire purpose. I’m going to maintain whooping these guys till there’s no person else to whoop, and so they don’t have any option to put that champ in entrance of me.”

No matter opponent, Cannonier is chomping on the bit for a struggle. He tore his proper MCL in October and subsequently had surgical procedure. The restoration went easily, in line with Cannonier, who has not competed since June 2023.

“I’m able to go and get my arms on this man,” Cannonier mentioned. “It could be virtually a yr by the point I get again within the octagon. I’m able to get again in there and get again to work, put the work in and get again to what I began in my final struggle: extra stress, extra depth, extra output. We’ll see if he can final 241 strikes. I’m stepping into there and placing it on him. I’m going to do it even higher than final time.”

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